Cutting abortion time limit would affect Irish women, says support group
There were 6,151 abortions for non-residents carried out in hospitals and clinics in England and Wales, compared to 6,535 in 2010 – the lowest since 1969, though Irish women travelling to Britain use private clinics and often give British addresses.
The statistics for 2011 Irish women were more likely to have later abortions
IRISH WOMEN who travelled to England and Wales for an abortion in 2011 were more likely to have it carried out at a later stage in their pregnancy than English or Welsh residents.
Last year 15 per cent of Irish women who had abortions in England or Wales were more than 12 weeks’ pregnant when they had the procedure carried out, compared to 8 per cent of women in England and Wales.
Statistics compiled by the UK department of health earlier this year showed that more than two-thirds, or 68 per cent, of women who gave Irish addresses at abortion clinics in England and Wales in 2011 were between three and nine weeks’ pregnant.
A further 16 per cent had abortions up to 12 weeks’ gestation; 511 abortions or 12 per cent were carried out at between 13 and 19 weeks while 3 per cent took place after 20 weeks.
This last figure compares to 1 per cent of women in England and Wales who had abortions after 20 weeks.
A total of 1,007 women travelled from Northern Ireland to England or Wales for an abortion in 2011. Of these, 70 per cent had an abortion at between three and nine weeks of pregnancy; 17 per cent at between 10 and 12 weeks; 11 per cent at between 13 and 19 weeks and 2 per cent at 20 weeks or over.
The number of Irish women and girls giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics in Wales and England has decreased year on year since 2001, when 6,673 women travelled to the UK for abortions.
Last year 4,149 women did so compared with 4,402 in 2010 and 4,422 in 2009.
The statistics, released earlier this year, showed that 37 girls under the age of 16 who gave Irish addresses travelled for abortions in England or Wales last year as well as 111 who were aged between 16 and 17; 295 women were aged between 18 and 19 while just over half were in their 20s; 1,289 were in their 30s; and 257 were over the age of 40.